Health complexity

Who we are

Associate Professor Katrina Wyatt


Katrina is a founder member of the Health Complexity Group and part of the child health team led by Professor Stuart Logan in the University of Exeter Medical School.

Her research covers three principal areas; development and evaluation of complex interventions, supporting and enabling patients service users and communities to be active partners in research projects and in the provision of methodological expertise for evaluations of interventions.

She has led the development and evaluation of a novel, school located intervention (the Healthy Lifestyles Programme, HeLP) to prevent and reduce obesity in school children. This is now being evaluated in an NIHR funded trial of 32 schools across Devon. There is very little evidence of successful healthy workplace programmes in the NHS, despite this being highlighted in successive reports from the Department of Work and Pensions. Using the experience and skills from developing HeLP, she is leading the development of an NHS Healthy Workplace programme with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) and Royal Cornwall NHS Trust. The other major area of her work is in involving patients, service users and carers and communities as partners in developing and delivering health and social case research.

This work has led to two Connected Communities AHRC grant and supported the bid for the Exeter Catalyst. She is currently in discussion with Professor Carney regarding meaningful patient involvement in the design and delivery of the medical curriculum.

Phone: +44 (0) 1392 722971

Dr Robin Durie

Senior Lecturer, Politics, University of Exeter

Robin Durie's research interests lie in two main areas. First, he undertakes research in political philosophy in the 'Continental' tradition. He has expertise in the history of phenomenology, and, in particular, in the philosophies of Bergson and Deleuze. In this area, he has published work on problems of time, change and difference. He is committed to interdisciplinary research, and has an extensive track record of active collaboration with leading scholars in the fields of physics, biology, mathematics, art, design and architecture. It is on the basis of this collaborative work that he developed his other main area of research, in public policy, and specifically research for the National Health Service. For the last four years, he has undertaken research with colleagues in the Health Complexity Group, based at the Peninsula Medical School, into processes of change in the NHS. A further dimension of this work has been to investigate processes of social and urban regeneration in the South West and Cornwall. This record of interdisciplinary research deriving from complexity theory has led to the award of 2 EPSRC funded research projects: the first project will investigate the theme of 'sustainability' from the perspective of theories of emergence; while the second will investigate the evolution of artificial culture, and problems of interpretation that emerge in the study of artificial and alien cultures.

Phone: +44 (0) 1392 723185

Dr Jonathan Stead


Dr Jonathan Stead worked as a GP with an interest in long term conditions, particularly diabetes, becoming a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter in 1986. In 2002, at about the time of setting up the Health Complexity Group with the late Professor Kieran Sweeney, he heard Hazel Stuteley tell the story of transformation on the Beacon Estate in Falmouth. Since then he has worked with the Health Complexity Group to understand the nature of this transformation, and to create and deliver the seven step ‘Connecting Communities’ programme, of which he is a co-director. With Hazel, he has run workshops in England and Scotland and currently they are supporting eighteen communities in the UK.

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Hazel Stuteley O.B.E., R.N. (retired)


Trained at Kings College Hospital London, Hazel was a practicing Health Visitor for 35 years, within disadvantaged communities, rural and urban. In 1995 she co-founded the multi -award winning Beacon Project reversing the decline of a deeply disadvantaged community in Falmouth.

Following a year’s secondment with the Department of Health in 2001-2, she accepted a Senior Research Fellowship at the Peninsula Medical School and became a founder member of the Health Complexity Group (HCG).

Hazel is currently Programme Director of C2 Connecting Communities at the University of Exeter Medical School, an evidence based intervention, developed with HCG, which has a track record of consistently delivering transformative outcomes to challenged communities in the South West and nationally.

At the 2013 Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards at Royal College of Physicians Hazel was listed within the top 50 most influential NHS clinical leaders in the country.

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Susanne Hughes

Programme co-ordinator and fieldwork support - C2

Susanne is programme co-ordinator and fieldwork support for the Connecting Communities C2 programme and works closely with the C2 partnerships providing mentorship and support.

She is based in the University of Exeter Medical School, with the Health Complexity Group whom she has worked with since 2003, supporting Hazel in the development of the C2 programme.

Phone: +44 (0) 1392 724916

Jackie Bagnall

Senior Lecturer - Leadership

With an academic background in social and organizational psychology and a consultancy background in action learning and leadership development, Jackie joined the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter in 2003 where she launched ‘Leadership Southwest’ the RDA‘s regional centre for excellence. This six year project focussed on developing leadership capacity in small businesses throughout the region and included leadership programmes for the cultural sector, women managers and the IoD Chartered Director programme. Her work focussed on leadership programmes which connected managers from across diverse sectors to explore, understand and implement best practice. In addition to teaching and designing both postgraduate and undergraduate management and leadership programmes here at Exeter, Jackie is a member of the Health Complexity Group at Peninsula Medical School and an Ambassador for the Third Sector Leadership Centre at Henley Management College.

She is committed to exploring innovative ways to engage people in learning and discovery, believing that learning creates connected, adaptive and resilient communities. Her commercial management experience, coupled with exposure to leading edge thinking is evident in her module and programme design.

Phone: +44 (0) 1392 725617

Honorary associates

David Aynsley

Honorary associate

Since 1996 David Aynsley has worked with Truro and Penwith College’s Public Service courses by lecturing at levels 2, 3, 4 and 5, advising on the degree curriculum, and cross marking degree module submissions at levels 4 and 5. Whilst in full time employment he published a Connecting with People and completed his Master’s degree. he was appointed as a school governor at his local primary school in 2011 and sits on the curriculum committee. In his free time he sit on the Board of Trustees of the TR14ers Community Dance Team (I am its founder) which is a registered charity dedicated to improving children’s outcomes, sit on the board of CERRES (The Centre for European Research in Cornwall), volunteer at Stithians RFC, running touch most Saturdays and enjoy cycling and health and fitness activities.

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Ben Dunks

Honorary associate

Ben is a freelance Lecturer/Teacher, Director and Choreographer. He works across all ages and abilities, and all dance styles.

Ben lectures on the Dance Theatre Degree at the University of Plymouth and the theatre BTec at Plymouth City College. He directs two boys dance companies, Band of Lads in Cornwall and So We Boys Dance for the South West.

Ben works with creative practices and processes across all dance styles, and particularly likes fusing different styles and ideas together to make new work.

He has also developed a module for Secondary PE called Extreme Movement, working with dance and various martial arts to create a dynamic and exciting movement practice that fits all ages.

Phone: +44 (0) 786 3117543

Jan Bennett

Honorary associate

Jan worked for six years (2005 – 2011) as Head of Corporate Projects in Plymouth University’s Research & Innovation Directorate. He was responsible for managing a small team whose role was to turn strategically important institutional ambitions into real income-generating and reputation-enhancing projects – locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

In this role, Jan’s approach was always extremely outward-looking and he worked closely and effectively with businesses (large and small), public bodies and charitable/ voluntary organisations. He was responsible for managing the processes involved in securing funding (both capital and revenue as required) for projects which were of strategic significance to the University.

For example, he recently managed the bid writing effort required to successfully secure, on behalf of the University, contracts worth a total of £45million to deliver Management Operator services for three new Innovation Centres in Cornwall – Pool Innovation Centre (opened in 2010), Tremough Innovation Centre (under construction near Falmouth) and the Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre (scheduled to open in Truro in January 3013).

Phone: +44 (0) 7793 241 414